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€ 1,3 million of grants awarded for solutions-oriented development reporting
Since 2013, the European Journalism Centre’s grant funding initiatives have focused on supporting development journalism — the production and distribution of vital information that attempts to document the socio-economic conditions within disadvantaged societies. In 2022, we launched the Solutions Journalism Accelerator programme, which builds on these initiatives by encouraging solutions-focused approaches to development reporting. Solutions journalism is rigorous reporting about responses to problems. It investigates and explains, in a critical and clear-eyed way, examples of people working toward solutions.
We believe solutions journalism does not only benefit media organisations but also leads to more impactful reporting outcomes.
We are happy to announce the 10 projects awarded grant funding under the first calls for proposals of the Solutions Journalism Accelerator. Apart from receiving grant funding to implement their projects, the awarded organisations will also have the opportunity to benefit from mentoring over the next 12 months.
The 10 successful projects selected by an external independent jury will inform societies about big societal topics and challenges such as global health and global development.
BurdaForward (Germany), through their brands (e.g. FOCUS Online), and together with Zeitenspiegel Reportagen, will portray 12 women scientists from the Global South who are researching solutions to the major problems facing humanity. Through their scientific work, important insights into problems like nutrition, health, education and more are presented together with possible solutions.
“Together with Zeitenspiegel Reportagen, we will send experienced reporters to the Global South to publicise inspiring women and their truly world-changing research. FOCUS Online and the other BurdaForward brands have been focusing on critical-constructive journalism for years. This project with the European Journalism Centre fits in beautifully.” — Malte Arnsperger, project lead, BurdaForward/FOCUS Online“In journalism, we like to focus on the problem and get lost in it. With this series, we want to do something different: Starting with humanity’s biggest problems, we are looking for women who think in terms of solutions — out of the conviction that promising ideas and approaches need the widest possible publicity to be able to unfold their full power.” — Florian Festl, editor in chief, FOCUS Online
WoW! News (France), which adapts solutions journalism for 8–12 year-olds, will meet young people in developing nations who are finding ways to fix the problems that confront their communities. Through the project “Let’s Show Kids a World of Solutions”, they will let them tell their stories, in English and French, to young Europeans eager to understand how they, too, can change their world for the better.
“People in developing countries are prime victims of longstanding global problems, now being aggravated by environmental threats. Their children and young people are often the hardest hit. Yet these very youngsters are not sitting idly by but are showing extraordinary creativity, energy and courage in trying to shape a better future for us all. We’re excited to introduce them to our audience and give children fresh insights into a world of tomorrow that seems daunting to many of them.” — Catherine Bahl, publisher
The Bristol Cable (United Kingdom) will identify, investigate and share solutions being pioneered in Bristol and around the world which help develop more sustainable, equitable and democratic cities. The year-long reporting series will focus on the themes: how people move around cities, how space is organised, and they are resourced.
“As a local newspaper that puts communities and impact at the heart of everything we do, we’re so grateful and energised to have this huge opportunity to further pioneer solutions journalism here in Bristol. With this grant, we will be able to find, document, and engage people in big solutions to city-based issues, and drive forward a positive, solutions-focused local and international conversation on the future of cities.” — Lucas Batt, membership & fundraising lead
Hostwriter (Germany), through their publication Unbias the News, in a consortium with Perspective Daily, will explore how green alternatives in German consumption, like energy and food, have knock-on effects on local societies elsewhere. Through cross-border solutions journalism they will unpack the promise and the potential impacts on poverty, food security and water in their series.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to investigate the green energy transition from a totally new angle: its impact on the sustainable development goals. At a moment where the world is rushing to find climate solutions, it’s crucial to take the whole picture into account, and see which solutions work for everyone, including communities who will bear the brunt of the impact.” — Tina Lee, editor-in-chief, Unbias the News
New Internationalist (United Kingdom) will produce a year-long series exploring what it means to ‘decolonise’, and shift the balance of power, when it comes to combating international poverty, as well as the ways Indigenous communities and people in the Global South are doing this.
“We’re really excited to have the opportunity to delve deep into this thorny, complicated but important topic. At New Internationalist we’ve been reporting on global inequality and the imbalance of power for nearly 50 years, and the legacy of colonialism, the current reality of settler colonial, and the imperial relations ever present in our global financial systems are central to that’ — Amy Hall, co-editor
RiffReporter (Germany) pursues the goal of breaking up common narrative patterns in development journalism by not only showing new technical solutions from Africa on how the SDGs are implemented, but also by offering new communities the possibility to speak and be heard. Their dialogue-based approach will address different communities and ask them how the SDGs are seen in Africa, what they mean for the continent and what people can learn in Germany from African best-practice projects.
“One of the biggest challenges of German development journalism in relation to Africa is to overcome old stereotypical narratives. We think that the methodology of Solutions Journalism offers the necessary change of perspective to achieve this goal. We are delighted to receive support for our independent science and development reporting on such an important topic.” — Tanja Krämer, co-founder and CEO RiffReporter
The Evening Standard (United Kingdom)’s reporting project that will shine a light on under-reported innovations and solutions from across the developing world that help girls realise their rights to education and healthy, productive futures. In a series of 12 character-driven stories from Africa, South Asia and Latin America, the project will explore local solutions and how they may be replicated in other parts of the globe.
“Our team at the Evening Standard is thrilled to have this opportunity to explore the challenges and solutions to educating the next generation of women around the world. It’s a topic close to the hearts of our audience but one which is often overlooked. This grant will allow us to illuminate the vital work of global changemakers and local heroes striving to help girls learn and flourish, showcasing examples of success in a compelling multimedia series.” — Charlotte Ross, acting editor, Evening Standard
A collaboration between The Ferret with Greater Govanhill (United Kingdom) will bring together investigative and solutions journalism for a deep dive into health inequalities in Scotland. Combining The Ferret’s experience in Scotland-wide investigative journalism with Greater Govanhill’s hyperlocal solutions-focused community approach will result in stories that bring together the national and the local, the macro and the micro, to explore solutions to the health-related issues facing Scotland’s communities.
“We’re very excited to be partnering with The Ferret for this project. Bringing a solutions focus to issues that impact our community is at the heart of what we do. Working with The Ferret will enable us to expand that lens beyond our neighbourhood and see how different communities around Scotland are being affected by health inequality, and what can be done about it. This is a chance to move the conversation forward on a much wider scale.” — Rhiannon Davies, founding editor of Greater Govanhill
Libération’s (France) project will explore how inventive grassroots communities come up with their own answers to environmental problems, in the most heavily tried regions of the world. Whether it’s protection of the forests, flood prevention or air quality, they are leading the way to a more sustainable life for all.
“We are honoured to be awarded an EJC grant, that will allow us to support incredibly talented journalists and photographers all around the world and to strengthen our coverage of environmental issues, which are among our readers’ major concerns. On these crucial questions, we believe we need to highlight more solutions and ways forward. For the next 12 months, we will do our best to do so.” — Lauren Provost, deputy editor-in-chief at Libération.
Euronews (France) will work on a 12-episode documentary cooking show in the form of a podcast that will take the listener on a journey to five African countries to discover how indigenous crops are helping communities improve food security. In each of the countries a local chef, specialised in traditional cuisine, will introduce local communities and their culinary traditions to the audience. The podcast will be released both in English and in French and will be available on Euronews and Africanews.
“The team at Euronews who successfully initiated and produced our podcast ‘Cry Like A Boy’ — also supported by the EJC — have come up with a new original idea that encompasses key issues that rank at the top of the interests and concerns of our audiences (climate change, sustainability, etc…). With the creativity, cultural awareness, and originality that characterises their work, the team will without a doubt produce a thought-provoking and engaging new podcast series.” — Patrick Heery, editor-in-chief — Digital Content
None of the awarded projects will be published behind paywalls and will be freely accessible to a national or a global online audience. A second call for proposals is expected in January 2023.
The Solutions Journalism Accelerator was created to achieve the following:
Purpose: The Solutions Journalism Accelerator is a programme delivering grant funding, mentoring, coaching, resources and knowledge transfer to support solutions-focused development journalism in European news organisations.
Mission: To create demonstrable impact on the public, key stakeholders and the media landscape through raising awareness of, and enabling media organisations to undertake more, solutions-focused development journalism.
Our vision is to inspire and enable all media organisations in Europe to build resilience through creating greater public awareness, critical understanding and positive social change about urgent global issues.
The programme, launched in 2022, is delivered by the European Journalism Centre (EJC) in partnership with the Solutions Journalism Network and is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The EJC is an international non-profit headquartered in the Netherlands, working to support, strengthen and develop journalism. Our mission is to strengthen the resilience of European journalism and progressive media by connecting journalists and media to new ideas, nurturing communities, making available a wide range of unique experiences, providing grants and skills development, and producing resources and training affordable or for free. Our aim is that every journalist and news organisation shall benefit from an EJC programme or initiative.
About the Solutions Journalism Network
SJN is an international non-profit advancing a system-level change in journalism, leading the adoption of solutions journalism — rigorous reporting on responses to social problems — into the daily news across the world. Our mission is to transform journalism so that all people have access to news that helps them envision and build a more equitable and sustainable world.
About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. Its mission is to create a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. It partners with entrepreneurs, companies, and other organisations to create incentives that harness the power of private enterprise to create change for those who need it most.